Constitutional Law

DC Circuit rejects Trump's bid to keep presidential records from House committee probing Capitol riot

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A federal appeals court has ruled against former President Donald Trump in his bid to keep presidential records from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against Trump on Thursday, report Reuters, the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, and the Associated Press.

The D.C. Circuit gave Trump 14 days to seek cert with the U.S. Supreme Court before it lifts an injunction preventing release of the records.

Trump had contended that the records request undermines his executive privilege rights. His suit took aim at federal laws, regulations and executive orders that say a current president may waive a privilege claim by a former president, unless a court intervenes. Biden had waived the privilege.

The appeals court said Trump had not provided any basis for overriding Biden’s judgment and the agreement he worked out regarding the documents. Congress has a “uniquely vital interest” in investigating the Capitol attack, and there is no other way for it to obtain the information in the documents, the appeals court said in an opinion by Judge Patricia Millett.

The appeals court also said Trump had failed “to allege, let alone demonstrate” that he would suffer any harm from disclosing the records.

“Mr. Trump has made no record nor even hinted to this court what context or information has been overlooked or what information could override President Biden’s calculus,” the court said. “We cannot just presume it. Nor can we, on our own, hunt through the documents for sensitivities or concerns that have never been articulated by Mr. Trump.”

A Trump spokeswoman said in a statement that, regardless of the decision, “this case was always destined for the Supreme Court,” according to coverage by the AP and CNN.

The case is Trump v. Thompson.

See also: “Does executive privilege still protect Trump after his term ends? Fight brews over congressional subpoenas” “Trump’s executive privilege bid could be hindered because of his use of campaign funds”

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